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D12 Longitudinal change in structural connectome in huntington’s disease: the image-hd study
  1. Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis1,
  2. Julie C Stout1,
  3. Andrew Churchyard2,
  4. Phyllis Chua2,
  5. Gary F Egan1,3,
  6. Govinda Poudel1
  1. 1Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences/School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI), Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Aims To investigate 18 month longitudinal changes in structural connectome in pre-HD and symp-HD, compared with controls.

Method Longitudinal analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data was conducted for 28 pre-HD, 25 symp-HD, and 27 controls at baseline and 18 months. Unbiased tensor-based registration pipeline was used to register diffusion tensor data across time and groups. Whole brain probabilistic tractography was performed by seeding 50 million white-matter tracts (streamlines). The SIFT algorithm (spherical-deconvolution informed filtering of tractograms) removed bias in reconstructed tracts. 90x90 structural connectome was generated for each group. Longitudinal change in connectome was analysed using a Network Based Statistics analysis method and a group by time ANOVA model.

Results There was a significant within group change in structural connectivity in pre-HD and symp-HD (P < 0.05, FDR Corrected) but not controls. In pre-HD, longitudinal change was observed in two distinct networks: the first connected striatum with motor cortex and the second connected prefrontal cortex with parieto-occipital cortices. In symp-HD, longitudinal change was observed in widespread connexions between frontal and parietal cortices, and striatum and cortex. No distinct network-level changes were observed in symp-HD.

Conclusions Structural connectome analysis can capture network-specific structural disconnectivity. While connectivity change in symp-HD was diffuse overall, the pre-HD group showed distinct networks that changed over time. These connectional pathways offer new avenues to further investigate disease spread pathways in HD.

  • longitudinal changes
  • structural connectome
  • imaging

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